Why Top Salespeople Can't Sell

19 replies
"If only I hired a top salesperson,
I'd be set", is a secret desire
so many have.

High probability it won't happen.

Now, if you had a valuable package
and the top salesperson only spoke
to qualified people, then you've got something to sell to
top sales people to come work for you.

Yet how many times biz owners looking for sales training and recruiting help when truth be told,
the cause of their problem is they have a crap package on offer to their potential customers.

No matter how you try to dress it up,*it's still a pig with lipstick on it.

A top salesperson will recognize it for what it's worth and won't put his name and reputation on it.

If on the other hand, if they crafted better value offers, identified who
are right for it and only speak to them, the sales process suddenly becomes flawless.

Unfortunately this flaw isn't mentioned by sales gurus.

This naked truth keeps biz owners and organizations doomed to be stuck on the hamster wheel.

Think it's about time the reason why so much money is wasted on sales training and recruiting sales people is made known.

Best,
Doctor E. Vile
#salespeople #sell #top
  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

    "If only I hired a top salesperson,
    I'd be set", is a secret desire
    so many have.

    High probability it won't happen.

    Now, if you had a valuable package
    and the top salesperson only spoke
    to qualified people, then you've got something to sell to
    top sales people to come work for you.
    My Dear Doctor;

    Of course, I agree.

    Another mistake I see is someone not knowing how to sell, wanting to hire a salesperson.

    If I were interviewing for a sales job, I would ask;
    "How many clients do you have now?"
    "What price did they pay?"
    "How did you sell them?"

    If the answer is "Well, you need to figure out how to sell it. But I'm pretty sure it will sell. We have a logo", then you will fail, because only a moron will try to sell something for someone that has never sold anyone anything.

    The package has to be brain dead obvious (To the prospect, not to you) that it's a good deal, and something that can be sold. But, the new salesperson can't invent selling from scratch. At least a few sales have to be made, so the new guy has something to learn......

    Unless you are willing to pay a good salary for months, while the new guy learns.


    Want to hire a new salesman that has a chance at success?

    say; "Here are 5 tested and proven ads that will generate inquiries. Here is a tested phone prospecting script that gets us appointments 15% of the time. Here is a DVD of a complete presentation, I've used to sell the last 15 people I've seen. Here are the 5 most common objections, and the best tested answers."

    Ok, now you have something.

    If you say; "Everyone needs this. The prospects are unlimited. You just have to send us sales, and we send you a check"...good luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author sandalwood
      Dr V,

      A suggestion if you will. I think your thread should be titled Why Top Salespeople Won't Sell. I say that because you say so in the body of your text. It's not they can't sell, it's that they won't sell if you what you say is correct. AND, it is correct.

      If I was a top salesman would I risk my reputation on a crap program? I don't think so. Hence, I won't sell.

      Now Claude, you are correct in your statements. But as we both know you don't become a top salesman unless you actually know the product inside and out and structure your presentation to meet almost all, I say almost because we never know all of the objections we will hear, of the objections that could pop up.

      For example, I showed a fellow how to have a tax free income of close to 80K a year through an IRS program we offer. I had absolutely no idea his wife was in love with their 401K and would not change their course for any reason under the sun.

      You could say I was at fault for not probing before we met but who in the hell would not at least entertain a never taxed program in place of a forever taxed program?

      Anyway, thanks for letting me participate in this discussion.
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        ^^^, Tom you are right about the won't part.

        And I'm right about even a top salesperson can't
        sell an inherently bad product.

        Always appreciate you chiming in my friend.

        Best,
        Doctor E. Vile
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        • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
          Claude, you just pointed out the real value of
          a marketing and sales system as an asset.

          That's how franchises get sold.

          That's the reason I was able to sell my
          lawnmowing businesses at a higher figure
          even though it was within the industry multiple
          on earnings. Each client spent more with me than
          industry norms.

          Best,
          Doctor E. Vile
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    • Profile picture of the author Underground
      Great advice.

      This has been my thinking for a long time. I'm staggered how many people here thinking the gold is in selling, being a typical or just slightly above average sales person, and that's enough. That's the hardest part, the selling.

      Most of them have sold low priced junk all their life and failed to achieve the massive financial pay-offs that come to people who know how to sell but also understands what you pointed out, that selling the right product to the right market at high profit margin is the best use of their energy.

      It's missed by so many.



      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      My Dear Doctor;

      Of course, I agree.

      Another mistake I see is someone not knowing how to sell, wanting to hire a salesperson.

      If I were interviewing for a sales job, I would ask;
      "How many clients do you have now?"
      "What price did they pay?"
      "How did you sell them?"

      If the answer is "Well, you need to figure out how to sell it. But I'm pretty sure it will sell. We have a logo", then you will fail, because only a moron will try to sell something for someone that has never sold anyone anything.
      I see this myth all the time here for some reason. It's a fallacy.

      You're saying 100% of sales people, if you had a package like Ewan pointed out, where say the commission was a 1k sale, plus a basic, they knew they had the capability to sell it, knew it would sell, knew they were going to get only highly qualified leads coming to them, would turn it down because the company didn't have a professional, experiences sales person who's sold it before them?

      That over-achievers and highly competitive alpha types would turn-tail and run because the person hiring them was not at their level of selling.

      Of course not. If a person is hiring someone in their company because they want to leverage their professional expertise, and the product is right, the company is right, they know theirs a market there, and you've created a great opportunity for them to deal with only pre-qualifed and very strong leads who are enquiring about a highly compelling offer, only a moron with no balls and no real expertise would shirk that challenge on some arbitrary belief that the company or business owner seeking them out to do what they specialize in doesn't specialize in it themselves.

      It's nonsense.
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Originally Posted by Underground View Post

        Great advice.

        This has been my thinking for a long time. I'm staggered how many people here thinking the gold is in selling, being a typical or just slightly above average sales person, and that's enough. That's the hardest part, the selling.

        Most of them have sold low priced junk all their life and failed to achieve the massive financial pay-offs that come to people who know how to sell but also understands what you pointed out, that selling the right product to the right market at high profit margin is the best use of their energy.

        It's missed by so many.
        I think you may of taken it out of the context and the point
        I was making.

        The onus is on the product owner to package
        something that is saleable to a list of qualified people.

        Too often the salesperson is the scapegoat for
        the failure of those two key points.

        Once the biz has those 2, it creates a path to
        a frictionless selling system.

        Best,
        Doctor E. Vile
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        • Profile picture of the author Underground
          Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

          I think you may of taken it out of the context and the point
          I was making.

          The onus is on the product owner to package
          something that is saleable to a list of qualified people.

          Too often the salesperson is the scapegoat for
          the failure of those two key points.

          Once the biz has those 2, it creates a path to
          a frictionless selling system.

          Best,
          Doctor E. Vile
          Ah, OK. It's just that most here are the product creator and the sales person. They think that can just pick a service of the shelf here from WSO that is the exact same thing most others are selling, and there focus is always on asking people here how they can sell it.

          They never how they can take the basic skills and services they have and do what you've outlined. Find things to add to it, find the right prospects, things like that.

          And I hardly ever see anyone point out that they should try to craft something worthwhile and of real value to sell first.

          To me, it's unethical and get rich quick mentality. There is no consideration of creating something of high value in the market place, that would then make the selling process far more streamlined and easier.

          It's why many struggle, because hardly anyone points that out them. It took me a long time to realize.

          The people who are going to do well in their marker place are the people who are committed to excellence and creating value. The rest will continue to struggle, because they haven't taken the time first to create true value.

          I genuinely see very few people who do that. Most are happy to sell anything they think they can get away with for their own benefit. Selling for their own reasons, and using their sales skills to sell crap to people.

          That's where I was coming from.
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          • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
            Originally Posted by Underground View Post



            That's where I was coming from.
            Thanks.

            There are 2 groups of readers to my posts...

            1 regular readers and commentors

            2 those that discover them from Googling.

            I take into account both groups.

            Best,
            Doctor E. Vile
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            • Profile picture of the author Underground
              Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

              Thanks.

              There are 2 groups of readers to my posts...

              1 regular readers and commentors

              2 those that discover them from Googling.

              I take into account both groups.

              Best,
              Doctor E. Vile

              Very shrewd.
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          • Profile picture of the author savidge4
            Originally Posted by Underground View Post

            because hardly anyone points that out them.
            I find this type of discussion happening all the time on this forum. Usually any thread that the Evil Dr. Vile starts contains this type of conversation. In most cases when Claude opens his mouth ( well other than the times he opens it to place KFC ) this is a consistent running theme. When Ken Michaels speaks its in this frame of reference. when Mister Me makes appearances, when Jason Chimes in. Joe Golfer points out great content within this frame of context. Ozi Ozi Ozi is very direct in this. Mr. Lessard... and the countless others

            I would say most all if not all of the regulars in this space talk about Value, an how to craft it, and then present it. We / They all do so in a Context that matches our own styles and frames of reference. - it is here that the message may be lost... we tend to focus on the words... and not the message itself. Truth will always be true.. its just spoken in many languages.
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            • Profile picture of the author Underground
              Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

              I find this type of discussion happening all the time on this forum. Usually any thread that the Evil Dr. Vile starts contains this type of conversation. In most cases when Claude opens his mouth ( well other than the times he opens it to place KFC ) this is a consistent running theme. When Ken Michaels speaks its in this frame of reference. when Mister Me makes appearances, when Jason Chimes in. Joe Golfer points out great content within this frame of context. Ozi Ozi Ozi is very direct in this. Mr. Lessard... and the countless others

              I would say most all if not all of the regulars in this space talk about Value, an how to craft it, and then present it. We / They all do so in a Context that matches our own styles and frames of reference. - it is here that the message may be lost... we tend to focus on the words... and not the message itself. Truth will always be true.. its just spoken in many languages.

              I think you mistook what I said. I don't doubt these people bring value. This is just the first time I have ever seen it explicitly stated in succinct terms how important crafting something of value is before selling. Creating offers and packages to sell.

              Often it's just assumed the person is selling something worthwhile and profitable. And that the person should get out there pitching.

              Ewan's threads attract those higher level type of discussions. And Ewan's threads usually focus on one important theme or self-contained principle. I'm talking about the specific principle he shared here and nothing else. And of course discussions of value happen elsewhere too.


              But threads like 'I want to quit my job next week and start selling wordpress themes' are usually met with talks and discussions about methods to do that. Some say just start cold call. Others network. Others facebook marketing.

              I've yet to see anyone say,''look forget selling for now. You're just going to be out there spamming people with emails that get ignored with the same tired, worn out pitch as everyone else. Do this instead first. And then when you come to selling your job is going to be far easier, your revenue far more consistent and your profits healthy.'' Not explicitly like Ewan said.

              Or atleast, I've been here since 2011, I've never seen that advice given to a young, optimistic hopeful who has just bought a WSO telling them they'll soon be making an easy grand a selling mobile sites from some loser who told them it would be easy, and so they go out with the same pitch and product.service as a 1000 other people, using the same methods and get nowhere.

              Newcomers are not getting truly helpful advice like Ewan gave here, not nearly enough. It should be standard.

              But this is a place mainly for get rich quick schemes, and most new people think they don't need to learn proper marketing and business skills. Only send out these magic, done for you emails and they'll have prospects beating a path to their door.

              These are people going out wanting to sell marketing services. And have no skills at it. And only want to make easy money for themselves. And don't know the market place and where or how the product they bought in WSO should be sold.


              What Ewan said is the truth. What you said about others contributing value or about higher level marketing concepts in the truth. But the two aren't the same. And I do know how I gave the impression that Ewan was the only one ever advocating selling decent products, as I obviously didn't mean.

              Maybe because I'm extra tired, and not communicating properly and it's a bigger problem than just my awful spelling mistakes, but I've nearly everything i posted on this forum in the last couple of days has been contested or pulled up so I think to step away from the net.


              I hope that what Ewan advocates becomes the default advice given to everyone who comes on where we can see they just bought a WSO and will be selling something tainted and that a million people are try to hawk and doing a very bad job, and they should better look at how they package it first so that is something highly saleable, rather than rush into finding ways to sell something that isn't. It's not common.
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        • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
          Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

          Too often the salesperson is the scapegoat for
          the failure of those two key points.

          Once the biz has those 2, it creates a path to
          a frictionless selling system.
          Ahhh....I've been guilty of blaming the salesperson....well not blaming publicly...just losing sleep over it...or growling...

          The frictionless selling system is really the goal here.

          The frustration that one might feel when you do sort of have a smooth system that just needs to be followed but is derailed by an action taken that you know personally will not add any value to the business but makes the sales person appear gold plated is...

          ...frustrating.

          No matter how many times you explain that....

          1.The customer requires a solution and we have the only solution available.
          2. We can deliver the solution in the agreed timeframe.
          3. We can over deliver.
          4. They can afford the solution
          5. Take their money

          The sales person takes a tangental approach that adds complexity to an otherwise simple straightforward solution.

          I think the quote KISS or more importantly KIS & S....is that Jon Benson???

          Keep it simple and stupid....

          That's why you need the experienced sales people and not the trainees.

          I have some trainees right now so I'm paying out on them...please forgive me....

          I know they've got to learn the ropes and watch and learn how "Above Average" results happen....

          ...that's why I get graphic with the frustration and explain to them that "Use the System"

          Systems produce results.

          Systems can fail but generally once you dial them in they WORK...

          Design the system.

          Employ people to work the system.

          Train them and forgive them when they fail to use the system.

          It's your fault....MORE training.

          When things fail it's there is only one bullet...

          Your's or their's...

          ...or...

          you train better or design the system better....

          In my best Kiwi accent "CHOICE ???"
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by Underground View Post

        You're saying 100% of sales people, if you had a package like Ewan pointed out, where say the commission was a 1k sale, plus a basic, they knew they had the capability to sell it, knew it would sell, knew they were going to get only highly qualified leads coming to them, would turn it down because the company didn't have a professional, experiences sales person who's sold it before them?
        .
        No. I'm not saying that.

        In fact, almost the opposite. In the last few decades, I've sold several products. Some of them come with ready made presentations that show the use of the product, and how it's made.
        These programs are mostly made by either an engineer in the company, or the CEO.

        When I hear that they are selling product, using this presentation, I'm very happy. Why? Because I'm better at selling than they are. If this presentation gets sales, I can make it far more powerful, far more obvious that the prospect should buy.

        In fact, even now, most of my consulting is taking a company sales presentation, and making it more effective, usually shorter, and clearer.

        But "Here, this product should sell, run with it" is moronic. Nothing is a bigger waste of energy than enthusiasm with nothing to base it on.

        How do you "Know it would sell"? By having someone buy it. It doesn't have to be thousands of sales.....Five. Show me that five people have bought this. Now, I know people buy this.

        Are there people that can take a completely unproven product, and sell it? Of course, I'm one of them. I suspect there are several here that could do it.

        Product is easy. Sales is hard. And the vast majority of salespeople, even good ones, aren't capable of creating an entire presentation from scratch, creating a sales funnel from scratch, and selling a completely unproven product.

        I don't mean proven that it works. I mean proven that there is a market for it. And the way to prove there is a market for a service/product, is by seeing people buy it.

        When I would train new salespeople, perhaps the most important part of the training, was for them to see me make sales (or one of my managers). They had to see, for themselves, that people normally bought. That selling wasn't impossible.

        There are lots of product/services that work like a dream, and nobody wants them. And there are lots of WSOs (I know, because I've bought them) where the entire advised sales process is made up in the writer's mind. In other words, it's a fantasy. Even here, in the Offline forum, I see lengthy posts, giving sales advice, where I know the writer has never used what they are saying. And I know they have no sales experience.

        Part of my post was to help avoid the programs where the inventor quickly wrote a sales presentation, or script....off the top of his head. One that wouldn't work, in any situation. And then the blind...follow the blind.

        I hope this helps someone.
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        • Profile picture of the author Underground
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          No. I'm not saying that.

          In fact, almost the opposite. In the last few decades, I've sold several products. Some of them come with ready made presentations that show the use of the product, and how it's made.
          These programs are mostly made by either an engineer in the company, or the CEO.

          When I hear that they are selling product, using this presentation, I'm very happy. Why? Because I'm better at selling than they are. If this presentation gets sales, I can make it far more powerful, far more obvious that the prospect should buy.

          In fact, even now, most of my consulting is taking a company sales presentation, and making it more effective, usually shorter, and clearer.

          But "Here, this product should sell, run with it" is moronic. Nothing is a bigger waste of energy than enthusiasm with nothing to base it on.

          How do you "Know it would sell"? By having someone buy it. It doesn't have to be thousands of sales.....Five. Show me that five people have bought this. Now, I know people buy this.

          Are there people that can take a completely unproven product, and sell it? Of course, I'm one of them. I suspect there are several here that could do it.

          Product is easy. Sales is hard. And the vast majority of salespeople, even good ones, aren't capable of creating an entire presentation from scratch, creating a sales funnel from scratch, and selling a completely unproven product.

          I don't mean proven that it works. I mean proven that there is a market for it. And the way to prove there is a market for a service/product, is by seeing people buy it.

          When I would train new salespeople, perhaps the most important part of the training, was for them to see me make sales (or one of my managers). They had to see, for themselves, that people normally bought. That selling wasn't impossible.

          There are lots of product/services that work like a dream, and nobody wants them. And there are lots of WSOs (I know, because I've bought them) where the entire advised sales process is made up in the writer's mind. In other words, it's a fantasy. Even here, in the Offline forum, I see lengthy posts, giving sales advice, where I know the writer has never used what they are saying. And I know they have no sales experience.

          Part of my post was to help avoid the programs where the inventor quickly wrote a sales presentation, or script....off the top of his head. One that wouldn't work, in any situation. And then the blind...follow the blind.

          I hope this helps someone.

          I understand where you are coming from on that. I wouldn't be surprised if some of that is aimed at me indirectly, like I have something I believe can sell on nothing but delusion and enthusiasm.

          If it is including me, then I know it will see because of the strength of the proposition I'm offering and knowing my market.

          Often just the proposition itself, sells itself. Like asking frat boys do they want to go a party with naked women in attendance at the weekend,

          No major hardsell or convincing is needed. Salesmen's ego's place way too much important on their skills alot of the time, when they don't matter all that much with a stronger proposition. And when you have one, selling isn't such a battle.
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          • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
            [DELETED]
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          • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
            Originally Posted by Underground View Post

            I understand where you are coming from on that. I wouldn't be surprised if some of that is aimed at me indirectly, like I have something I believe can sell on nothing but delusion and enthusiasm.
            No. None of it is aimed at you indirectly or directly. Like I have said several times already.
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            • Profile picture of the author Underground
              Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

              No. None of it is aimed at you indirectly or directly. Like I have said several times already.
              NP. I understood that earlier but thanks for pointing that.
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  • Profile picture of the author imi1233
    this is alright
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    [DELETED]
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeremiah Walsh
    To go back to the original post here...

    I agree with this. A sales process has several links in the chain and each link has its own importance on the entire process. If the weakest link is the product or service, you wont have a viable sale process... and no sales.

    Each link is important... but if the main reason for you being in business (your product) is the weakest link... then you have a serious problem on your hands and need to fix that before you worry about getting a salesperson with "the right stuff".
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    Like your thread, Ewan. I just wished you emphasized the "only spoke to qualified" people.

    Or, perhaps, go into more detail.

    Because in my world, people have great services/products... FHA mortgage products, car insurance, etc.

    But they have no clue as to who it is for.

    More precisely, they have a clue but they don't go deep enough.

    The FHA mortgage, for instance. According to the FHA, it's for everyone who's looking into financing a primary residence.

    But, if you have great score, lots of assets, a great job, you'd be an idiot to get one as it's more expensive than conventional loans (carries mortgage insurance, which comes with sizable premiums).

    But a lot of mortgage brokers do what the FHA does, just not to the same extent.

    Who's your best bet for an FHA mortgage refinance? Someone who's already got an FHA loan. I meet a few mortgage brokers a year who are into FHA. It's never crossed their minds!

    They all want to sell everything to everyone. They want to list in every ad everything they do... That they, a prospect will find something interesting, they think.

    They advertise in the Spanish language paper because someone in their office speaks Spanish. Never mind that their office is too far for the Spanish-speaking population centers (both physically and in terms of match perception: around here, the Spanish speaking centers are in average areas, the mortgage broker I'm thinking about is in the 3rd or 4th most expensive suburb.

    They opened office in this posh suburb because that's where the money is, so they'll get clients. None of their clients have, in 3 years, come from the posh suburbs: the houses are too expensive for FHA and conforming loans, and they don't know how to talk to their rich neighbors, so they can't sell their Jumbo loans program.

    I know of two bakers. One's doing fine, selling 'healthy' pastries. (His pastries are your run of the mill pastries made out of pre-made, store bought stuff... think icing with phosphate of this and benzoate of that in them).

    The other one is struggling, though he sells pastries that he makes from scratch out of flour, butter, eggs, sugar. But he didn't think to re-position himself as a 'healthy' pastries boy: his pastries are good and, if you know anything about baking, you'll know they are as soon as you take a bite.

    Which is true. But how are you going to take your first bite? He missed that part. I had to point it out to him. I had to point out to him that the other baker (a former pastry school professor of his) had positioned himself as one and, as a result, was doing better.

    The kicker... He was telling me that his former teacher was doing well because the teacher had found himself some large accounts (banquet halls). He was talking a mile a minute and said, and I quote:
    He's doing better because he goes around telling people he uses less sugar and less butter, so his pastries are healthier.

    Sometimes, people should stop and listen to what they say, huh?
    Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

    Now, if you had a valuable package
    and the top salesperson only spoke
    to qualified people, then you've got something to sell to
    top sales people to come work for you.
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